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tv   [untitled]    June 10, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm PDT

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45 seconds, and we are moving on. that is really important. i appreciate the reduction in the percentage cost i have to pay, but i accept there is a cost. i do not know whether 5% is appropriate. i am not really worried about 5 cents on the dollar in my business. i provide a service that usually takes care of me with the tip. i think most cabdrivers to provide good service and people are willing to throw extra on if they know there is a fee. they will take care of you. that is just my opinion. thank you. >> do you find there is an increase or change in the level of gratuities on credit card transaction? or is the gratuity the same? >> $18 ride, the have two 20's in their pocket, they will give
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me a 20 and walk away. the credit card, they will give more. >> good afternoon. i am in favor of item 11. the credit card transactions are not part of the cab company operations. cab companies do not have any financial motivation. they do not have anything to gain from participating in the use of credit cards. the bad guy or the banks, who are dictating policy to all of us. i hope that if you vote in favor of 11, as i hope you do, that you will not consider that the necessary final solution to the problem. a better solution would be for the cab companies to finally agree about operations, and get the local laws to allow for some
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sort of situation similar to what exists in las vegas. while on the subject, i think it should be said that have companies want more medallions at all times, because there is a ceiling on their profits. i think they would be more involved with were some with systems in all caps. after much cost, time, and effort, we were able to put it in all taxis. that was based on a 5% fee to
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the driver. we do not charge the companies. the third property -- the third party processes that, and we facilitate it for the drivers. guaranteeing a payment of two -- up to $50 by the drivers -- this was all based on a 5% fee, which is appropriate. we are told this will be dropped to 3.5%. the contractual relationship is going to have to change, or we will bear the responsibility of that 1.5%. you made a drastic major increase. part of the justification was to more than make up for the charges. credit card charges about $6 to $7 a have
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this imposition on us on l choice of how they want to pay. there is equipment in the vehicle. there needs to be consistency for the passengers. the passenger should come first. thank you. secretary boomer: [names are read] >> i have been a taxicab driver for 23 years. i thought all of the items would be together. i had so much i wanted to say. i will say this about the credit card. the fee should not be charged to
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the drivers. even the board of supervisors think it should not be charged to the cab drivers. we pay a fee of $25 a year to the city of san francisco. only the market can force us. maybe muni can start taking credit cards for their ride. people love to use that. people go to starbucks and use it for $1.50 coffee. they like to use their credit card, because they get more points using the credit card. maybe muni can consider also starting to take credit cards. that is one thing. i think cabdriver's should not pay for the credit card.
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-- i think cabdrivers should not pay for the credit card. let the market force us to take the credit card. >> good afternoon. my name is domenic rodriguez. i think since we are in munich, i should put a bus -- in muni, i should put a taxi light on top of a bus so i can take more customers. if the companies are not generating money, maybe they should charge 50 cents to go to the bathroom from each driver. i think this is the whole problem.
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i had a situation where the driver had cardboard saying "cash only." he said he refused to take credit cards. i was stuck with a passenger to take care of. this is the issue. every time that companies complain they are broke -- you know how much they make for a medallion? $2,000. secretary boomer: [names are read] >> members of the board, i am with laxer -- luxor cab company. let me remind you that among other cab companies we requested a waiver in consideration of
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increasing credit card charges. can we get it up real big? essentially, when we requested a waiver, staff requested the cab companies to submit a package that included a number of bundled services. the cab companies could not be the merchant of record. we would require backseat monitors, charge no more than 6%, and had to put together a fundamental planform for the collection of electronic waybills. we received a waiver, signed a 66% contract, and put together a package of services. this proposal breaks apart a bundle of services that luxor
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and other cab companies will be able to negotiate. it provides consumer protection for the card user, the customer. it provides the platform for collecting electronic waybills. it provides the opportunity to provide backseat monitors. we are being a little bit penny wise, pound foolish. this covers a variety of bundled services. this seems to suggest unbundling the credit card fee. we think this is on wise. what you want to look that is the bundling of services that provide consumer protection.
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chairperson nolan: good afternoon, mr. lawrence. >> good afternoon. i would like to bring up the issue of the 3.5% to 5%. we ought to start subtracting 5% out of your paycheck every month. everytime we deposit it, we get 5% for the taxi industry. whether it is 3.5% or 05%, in a couple of years it will be 12% or 15%. you are ripping off the taxi driver, forcing him to take credit cards. you are forcing the population to use credit cards when they can use cash. how about stopping on the corner for a $4 credit charge when the traffic is low? with a policeman behind you, a
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woman hands you a credit card. i have 15 badges in my hand. here is a mastercard. it takes 4.5 minutes to do it. [)s0ñ forcing taxes drivers to do. it is like removing the benches and the trash cans and having the population at large through a crash in the street because there are less trash cans. taxi drivers are small businesses. you do not understand that. a taxi medallion holder does not make what a junior clerk makes at city hall. no benefits, medical, dental, or otherwise. but you want to strangle them with another feed by forcing a population to give you a credit card at 2:00 in the morning, half of them drunk. you do not know what you are doing.
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the taxi drivers know where you are doing. i thank you for your time on this issue. [applause] >> the first thing most passengers say when they get into my cab is, "can i use my credit card?" they are anxious. they are nervous about that. there is always a sense of relief. many of them, the large percentage of them, say, "the last cabdriver would not take my credit card." what has been established is that the first interaction between a customer -- a driver and passenger is fraught with anxiety. i think it is proper for a regulatory body to address that. it should be invisible.
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it should be built into the rate structure that when you pay it does not come out of the cab driver's bottom line. it should come through the company. however it gets paid, it should come through the company. if you are interested in the customer, you will address that. >> i am a san francisco cab driver. i support this item, the way it is written. thank you for listening to cabdrivers' protesting in the past about 5% being excessive. in a perfect world, philosophically, i believe cabdrivers in san francisco should not have to pay any credit card fee, unless you own the tab -- the steering light,
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etc., and are paying all the expenses, setting your own schedules. when you do not have a right to do that, and you have to run everything through a cab company, i think it is wrong. as a compromise, i will go out on a limb and say i support this item. i think that is a fair compromise in the real world. i know a lot of cabdrivers disagree. that is just my opinion. i think whoever wrote this tried very hard to come up with a solution that takes both sides of the issue. i think the cab drivers should have the option to have their square unit. i have plenty of passengers. i do not have a smartphone yet, but when i do i will download
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square. i have passengers telling me to download square. maybe some people are saying that you have to surrender your card to the driver, but my experience is it is no big deal. passengers are encouraging people like me to have a smartphone and download square. every experience is different. my tips do not change between cash and credit cards. i get cheap tips or great chips -- tips whether it is cash or credit. [laughter]
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>> i am the phantom photographer. i think it is basically good, the 3.5%. this is closer to the actual costs. i would probably be on the side of the companies, if they want to promise never to push for a gate increase. i would say 5% would be fine. but of course that is not going to happen. they will be pushing for a date increase regardless. i think 3.5% is fair. i will make myself unpopular with the drivers by saying the ones who are not taking the credit cards should be taking credit cards, for numerous reasons. if there were taking credit cards, even with a 5% fee, they would probably be maki 10% to 20% more each day. they get bigger tips for taking credit cards.
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furthermore, there is what is described as a big space ship to and our problems. uber takes credit cards. i think it is good as it is written. thank you. there is at least one cab company out there which has a yellow coat -- a yellow color on it which is still hitting drivers with bogus charges. i think most companies have stopped it, but i think regulation is in order to make sure the drivers are treated fairly. thank you very much. chairperson nolan: good afternoon, mr. snyder. >> good afternoon, members of the board.
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there are a lot of things i understand, and sometimes i do not understand, as old as i am. one is i have some idea of the concept of public convenience and necessity, a public utility that applies to taxicab operations. speaking of the real world, we live in san francisco, and there is a concept behind the livable wages ordinance. most cabdrivers in san francisco, aside from a medallion holders, are probably the working poor. if they make $25,000 a year, it might be good. $25,000 a year in san francisco
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is considered low wage or poverty. the mta made fair is free for school kids. -- fares free for school kids. i wonder why you have to charge cabdrivers' for every transaction. it should not be anything. who can least afford it, the working poor or the cab company? you might want to defer this a little bit so there can be a suggestion to pcn later in the year. perhaps we can think this out a little better. thank you for your time. >> good afternoon.
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you have seen what action was going on outside. director heinicke, please leave this job. you have failed this entire system. let us get back to the points. $104 for a 10 hour shift. that covers insurance, credit card fees, everything. half the money goes to the medallion holder. the collect only 1500. now it is a $3,000 check from the cab companies. cab company ponies are sitting in warm taxi houses. drivers are sitting in a dirty, ugly place. 2% fees -- why 3% or 4%?
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the staff sitting in the cab company office -- why do we give them the $104 feedbacks -- fee ? the owner of the cab company -- the bottom line is we do not need veriphone. it has been working fine. it cost $3.40 million to install credit machines in the front. we do not need a machine in the back. what is the convenience? it will bring the prostitutes. i have only one time in 10 years one blind person.
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it has never been a problem. there should be 0 fees. thank you. >> i am barry toronto. i want to give a shout out to dominick, who helped me at the front office. i do not think you are being very helpful. in the cab industry, there is a lot of psychology and sociology involved. it is not just about economics. when a driver has to take a lot of money out of his daily take, it hurts a driver. you try to convince them they get more tips using the credit card. you cannot really see that, comparatively. it takes a long time to process a credit card sometimes. the equipment has to be paid for. a 3.5% charge is a slap in the
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face to a cabdriver. the banks do not charge that much. this report addressed a lot of the psychological issues and problems. there is a requirement that drivers accept credit cards. what about requiring sick pay, pensions? they are not employees. they are a quasi-business. a lot of businesses get to charge an extra charge for credit cards. how do we figure out a way to add a surcharge to anyone who uses a credit card? it is only fair that anything under a certain amount of money gets charged a fee. people are charging even for cha $5 fare. do you know how time-consuming
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and what a hassle it is a for the driver? if you were in the business, you would react the same way. please, you are not giving any concessions to cabdrivers. i ask you to pass it on to the passenger. most of them will not complain. thank you. [applause] >> jessie davis. >> good afternoon. in jessie davis, president of creative mobile technologies, one of the providers of the rear seat technology you are debating. by this stage, it started seven years ago in new york when the first technology mandate came to new york. we are different from most companies in this space. and we were built from inside the industry. all of them have worked with in the cab driving industry. when the program comes together with respect to credit cards, it
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is a difficult conversation. what is being asked of the technology in these meetings is much more than the transaction. when you call it the security and safety, the integrity of the transaction, the interaction is all part of what the technology provides. when you look at changing the rates, you look at 5%. as a provider of the service, it costs more than the cost of the transaction. the best cards, the best rules, do nothing for the cab industry. what you need of the best drivers. to have the best drivers you need systems in place that are the most sensitive. credit cards are a reality of the world. as of this month, 58% of the dollars spent in new york are on credit cards. boston is up to 54%. chicago is a few years behind and that 40%. other cities that have required
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the technology have an rfp out. the direction of the industry across the country is to require credit-card transactions in the car in a way that is safe and secure to the passengers were drivers and passengers can have the best interaction. from our perspective, the driver needs to get his money as quickly as he can. part of the cost incurred in the transaction, that 5% that you were debating, if you went out and opened a merchant account and got merchant rates, you cannot get money funded to use seven days per week. a transaction done on a friday, saturday, or sunday, american express he will munsey until thursday of that week. the equipment says you have to use the transaction. >> thank you, sir. >> jim templeton. >> good afternoon. my name is nick nicoli.
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i work for veriphone. i wanted to add my two cents. i think that probably changing the program midstream is not a good idea. there are a bunch of other things that you guys need to think of. to some of these other points, the transactions and installation, how you got the equipment in the car, we have been part of many rfp's and i have not seen one of them change midstream from one percentage to another. another thing, overpayments could have been added to this. but they're not. maybe vetting this, taking a step back would be a good idea. thank you for your time. >> next speaker, please. >> jim templeton. >> thank you, folks. i started driving a cab in 1973.
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i have spent 35 years in the industry without dealing with credit cards. i made it as a cabdriver. i do not make any more now. i probably make less now that we take credit cards. here is the reason why. i have got credit cards. the credit-card companies what the merchant to bear the cost of these things. i have got a gold card and an american express card. as far as i am concerned, i should pay the fee. but we have got this thing going on here right now. since the so-called merchant is stuck paying the fee, and the reason this is is because the credit card companies have bought out the u.s. congress because -- you know, if i want to use my credit card for my convenience, i should pay the fee. and there would be happy to pay.
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otherwise -- of course, this will never happen because the congress is paid off. some of these other guys that got off track today speaking about the credit card thing, i spent over 30 years as a gates gas cabdriver. during that time the medallion that i'd drive right now belonged to my favorite general manager, marvin grommet. he was a frogman in world war ii and all those years i was a cab driver i felt his retirement in his old age and i was happy to do it. so, old forts like me that got medallions in their 60's, leave us alone, fellas. >> next speaker, please. >> richard weimar. >> good afternoon, richard wiener, for yellow cab. >> i would ask you to reconsider some or parts t